Winter Sports in Scotland

Feeling chills just thinking about campervan hire over winter in Scotland? Fear not! If you’d like a winter escape over the festive period, our 2-4 berth campervans offer diesel heating systems to keep you toasty and winter tyres to keep you safe. There are also a variety of campsites open year-round, offering luxurious facilities at off-season rates.

Scotland has 5 Ski Resorts to choose from. There are a number of advantages for skiing here that provide an exceptional experience, not to be missed. Even if you are not a skier or snowboarder, there are a range of activities on offer at each resort providing fun packed days for all the family. Due to their popularity over winter, accommodation in these areas can fill up quickly and are often booked a year in advance. Therefore campervan hire can provide an exceptional and budget-friendly alternative.

Snow can fall on Scottish peaks from October to April, offering, possibly, one of the longest ski seasons in the world. If you are lucky enough to have the ‘Beast from the East’ snow dump like 2017-18, record numbers of visitors flocked to the Scottish ski resorts, motivated by fine powder, top depths and some slopes that were open until May. This year, as unusual weather around the globe continues, the slopes opened and the first snowfall arrived in mid-October with hopes of a similar winter to last.

Even with record numbers, snow sports enthusiasts in Scotland often boast of having the slopes to themselves. You can be rest assured that the space and serenity will allow you to ski or snowboard without crashing into lesser abled groups on the piste. Conditions can change rapidly on the Scottish slopes so always check the weather forecast before you set out.  Skiers and snowboarders alike enjoy the limitless opportunities on offer in Scotland.

Below we have sourced all the information you may require on each of the 5 ski resorts to book your winter escape and campervan hire. Ski Scotland has also launched an All Areas Season Pass for 2018-19 which will allow you to get the most of all resorts on offer.

CAIRNGORM MOUNTAIN

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald

The CairnGorm Mountain lies in the CairnGorm National Park which is home to 3 of Scotland’s 5 ski resorts all within close proximity of each other whilst driving your campervan. Providing Scotland’s only funicular railway to take you to the summit, the CairnGorm Mountain offers stunning panoramic views for everyone. With over 30km of ski runs, 11 lifts and their own ski school, the mountain provides an inclusive atmosphere for all levels. There is a freestyle area with kickers, rails, jumps, and the UK’s only half-pipe cutter, delivering a unique experience for winter sports.

Location: Just under 3 hours drive from Fintry, the CairnGorm Mountain sits outside the popular tourist resort of Aviemore, in the heart of the Highlands. Campervan transfers can be arranged from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport and Train stations. Please see our frequently asked questions for rates. Aberdeen is approximately 2.5 hrs drive and Inverness 1 hour drive from the Cairngorm mountain. Please contact us directly for rates from these airport and train station links.

Lift passes:Start from £30/day For more details click here.

On site: Equipment hire and Ski school are available on site.

Interesting Fact: You can ski to the door of The Storehouse at base station to refuel on food & drink.

Campsites:

Name Season Price (Low season) Facilities
Rothiemurchus All year £10/adult/night Forest setting
Oakwood Closed Feb £21/ 2 ppl sharing Free WiFi Area
Dalraddy All year £25/electric pitch Play Area
Glenmore All year From £16.60/ 2 adults Lochside setting

Other Activities:

Aviemore has a wealth of activities off the slopes for all the family. Funhouse Aviemore provides indoor soft play, mini golf, bowling and games regardless of weather. There are also ample opportunities for activities off the pistes in winter. From Snowshoeing to Ski Touring, G2 Outdoor host guided activities for a range of abilities and ages. There are also fantastic places for sledging, from local golf courses to Hayfield at Glenmore. Just ask a local or your campsite host for top tips. Hiking is deemed mountaineering in winter and you will need to ensure you have the right equipment and check the weather forecast before setting out. Aviemore Zip Trek Park is open all year round if you feel like flying above the snow rather than on it.

In the area: Speyside, famous for its whisky trail including prominent brands such as Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and my favourite, Macallan. Aviemore also hosts annual events such as the husky sled dog rally in January and the snowsports and music festival Groove Cairngorm in February.

GLENSHEE

One of my favourites, covering the largest terrain in the UK of over 2000 hectares of pisted and unpisted snow. Glenshee offers 36 ski runs, 26 red and blue runs, 2 black runs, of which the infamous Tiger black run will challenge the most advanced skiers and snowboarders. It has the largest lift system in the UK providing 21 lifts and tows giving you access to 4 mountains, open bowls, narrow gullies, with a long single ski run of 2km. There are also nursery slopes at the base of the resort for those who need to build up their confidence before tackling the mountain slopes.

 

 

Location: Glenshee is accessible on a short 2 hrs journey from Fintry. Campervan transfers can be arranged from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport and Train stations. Please see our frequently asked questions for rates. Perth and Dundee train stations are both 1hrs 20mins from Glenshee Ski Resort. Please contact us directly for rates from these train station links.

Lift passes: Start from £17 for ½ day and £21 for a full day. For more information click here.

On site: Pre-booking service for equipment hire and ski school. The on-site shop sells a variety of mountain accessories, provides ski-suit hire and you can also hire or buy a sledge. Or you can drop into the Glenshee visitors centre en-route for further equipment hire and lessons.

Interesting Fact: Glenshee means ‘Glen of the fairies’ in Gaelic.

Other Activities:Sledging near the carpark at Glenshee Ski Centre is fantastic. Bring your own sledge or hire from the on-site shop. There are also opportunities for ski-touring from just £12. Please ensure you’ve read the ski-touring code produced by Mountaineering Scotland available from the Ski Patrol at the ski centre. Here you will also find information on avalanche and weather warnings.

In the area: Glenshee Visitors Centre offers a relaxing atmosphere with a tea room and craft shop with home-baked and home-made goods whilst you enjoy the scenic views of the mountains surround.

THE LECHT

The third ski resort within the Cairngorms National Park offers a variety of ski runs including superb nursery slopes appealing to beginners of all ages. Home to the Penguin Park which encourages children aged 2-8years to learn basic balancing skills required for snow sports, it also has 2 magic carpets for those less confident with lifts and tows. With 20 ski runs and 13 lifts catering for intermediate to advanced abilities, The Lecht provides something for everyone.

Location: Again, just over 3 hrs drive from Fintry in your campervan, or you can fly to any central airportor train station for rates indicated in our FAQs or for the closest Aberdeen airport and train station (just over 1 hrs drive) contact us for prices.

Lift passes: Start from £20 for ½ day and £30 for full. Please note The Lecht is currently updating their website  but more information can be found here.

On site: Equipment can be hiredat the ski centre and there is a Ski Snow Shop on-site. To book in advance and for ski school lessons contact info@lecht.co.uk

Interesting Fact: In summer, mountain biking is a key sport in the area and you can attach your bike to the chairlift to ascend the mountain. Leaving you free to descend at speed without feeling exhausted!

Campsites: There is a large carpark at the Lecht which is free without electric hook-ups. You can power your campervan for up to 3 days off-grid with our diesel heating systems and camping gas. The Lecht is also close to Aviemore so see the CairnGorm Mountain for lists of campsites in the area.

Other Activities/In the area:

See https://visitcairngorms.comfor more information of the area.

GLENCOE MOUNTAIN

Glencoe is located in one of the most spectacular scenic spots in Scotland. The Rannoch Moor with its changeable weather, eerie lighting and awe-inspiring landscape has been the backdrop for many film and tv productions over the years. Glencoe Mountain is at the heart of this busy, often visited thoroughfare. Offering 20 ski runs and 8 lifts, if provides runs for winter sports enthusiasts of all levels and even has the steepest black run in the UK. There are many on-site facilities and it is popular throughout the year regardless of season.

 

Location: This is the closest ski resort within 1 ¾ hrs drive of Finty. If travelling by train or air it is advisable to focus on the central belt of Glasgow or Edinburgh. See our FAQs for rates. The drive up to Glencoe passes through beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park so you may want to take your time getting there.

Lift passes: Start from £20 midweek to £32 on weekends day passes.

On site: The facilities on-site provide everything you need for a winter adventure in a campervan. They have a ski school, equipment hire, sledging and avalanche rescue training. On top of all this they have an on-site camping base with 20 pitches, 6 electric hook-ups, on-site café and a fully licensed bar. Everything you need to socialise in warm and friendly surroundings, without having to travel!

Interesting Fact: Glencoe is the oldest ski centre in Scotland, opened in 1956.

Campsites: Fantastic on-site camping is available at Glencoe Mountain Ski Resort with electric hook-ups from £15/night. Booking in advance is recommended.

Other Activities: As well as all the winter sports activities, the resort offers a free sledging area and even provide the sledges! There are also a whole host of summer activities from tyre tubing to treasure hunting. Though this resort is truly best for enjoying the breath-taking views and solitude of one of the most fantastic parts of Scotland.

In the area: There is much to see and do around Glencoe and beyond you can access Fort William and the famous West Coast of Scotland. The islands are easy to access by ferry however, the timetables are weather dependent this time of year so try to be flexible with your planned route.

NEVIS RANGE

Yes, you guessed it. Nevis range is overlooked by the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. It has the only gondola in the UK to take you to the base of Aonach Mor, 650m above sea level. Here there are a range of beginner facilities and easy access to blue and green runs. Further up there are a variety of red and black runs for intermediate to advanced levels which are wide as they are long. Providing 35 runs in total and 12 lifts to access the network of pistes, this ski resort facilitates the needs of all winter sports enthusiasts, with a season from December to May. Ski Club Great Britain provide a good video to prepare for you for what’s on offer at the Nevis range.

Location: Just under 3hrs drive from Fintry, Nevis Range is situated on the West Coast near Fort William. For central arrival point rates see our FAQs or contact us  if you wish to arrive in Fort William train station only 10 mins drive from the mountain.

Lift passes: Full day tickets start from £23.50. See their site for more options and season passes.

On site: Nevis Range have a full range of equipment hire and a Snowsports school on-site, providing group and individual lessons from £31.00 for 2 hrs.

Interesting Fact: The Back Corries provide a range of off-piste, steep runs to challenge even the most accomplished of skiers and boarders.

Campsites: Nevis Range is one of the few resorts with no accommodation on site. The winter sports atmosphere can still be had in the local town of Fort William. Glen Nevis Camping & Caravanning Park is just 15 mins drive from the slopes, offering a range of facilities in a scenic setting from £19/night.

Other Activities:There are a range of indoor and outdoor activities in the area from climbing walls to indoor swimming pools, golf to outdoor adventure parks. Known as the  Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William and Lochaber will fail to disappoint.

In the area: Home to the famous Glenfinnan Jacobite Steam Train, otherwise referred to as the Hogwarts Express, there is much to explore in this area.

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